Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The journey begins!!

It was a day like this. Indian summer - warm and sunny and the leaves just starting to turn.









We drove the car to the airport and left it in long-term parking which is secure, and will position the car quite conveniently for our return. And here are our intrepid adventurers, ready to set out.

So we did private car to airport shuttle to light rail which took us downtown to the regular rail station. While on light rail, we were sitting across from a nice young man with a map out. I asked if I could help him find something. He was from Glasgow, arriving two days early for a week-long seminar on wind farms. We showed him where to get off the light rail and how to get to his hotel, and suggested a number of things he might do while he was in town. the committee in the back of my head was adding things up and said, "Glasgow. He will want to go to a soccer match." So I told him to ask the conierge if the Timbers were playing while he was in town. His face just LIT UP! "There's football here?" If there's no pro game, I hope the concierge can get him to a college match. The University of Portland girls are world champs!



Fool that I am, I didn't get photos of the train station, which is really an imposing edifice, and the sort of thing that model train enthusiasts spend thousands of hours trying to duplicate. It was far clea ner than I expected, spacious and elegant, and oh so well organized. I was excited about our adventure and shared my happiness with everyone we encountered, and they smiled back and added suggestions to make sure we had a good trip. "Get your seat assignments right away so you can be sure of sitting together." And the fellow assigning seats said, "Oh, then you'll want seats on the side next to the water so you can enjoy the view. " How right he was!

We started out on time, but had two rivers to cross, and river traffic takes precedent over train traffic, and bridges were up,so we were twenty minutes late to our first stop. But after that, we just hauled!

Even though the rail parallels the freeway, it avoids the cheesy freeway billboards and signs. It was a glorious trip! The light had that late September hint of amber, the trees were just starting to turn, the views were pastoral, or as was often the case, glimpses of river through the sheltering cottonwoods. My heart just hopped up and down for joy.

Near Olympia, I looked out the other side of the train and got a shot of Mt. Ranier across the fields. Actually, I had been getting lots of shots as we went along, but usually a tree jumped in front of the camera as the lens opened, or the train jiggled just a bit, or - well, suffice it to say that it is difficult to get good pictures from a moving train.
I wanted to jump out and get pictures of the different stations we stopped at, but since we were running late, There were no pauses. People lept on or off, and with a whoosh, the train was in motion again. (Very smooth and quiet motion may I add!)

Soon we were cruising along Puget Sound. Islands began to appear.









Bridges came into view, then slipped past.











So many fascinating bridges!





Outside of Tacoma, I got another decent short of the mountain. Mt. Rainier stayed on our right, and Puget Sound on our left for hours and hours of comfortable travel.
I kept wanting to fasten my seat-belt every time I sat down, but there were none. The bathrooms were wheel-chair spacious, and immaculately clean. The dining car was more of a coffee-shop sort of car with pre-made cold sandwiches and salads, hot dogs, microwaved burgers, that sort of thing. But I have no complaints. I really hadn't expected white linen and real silver service in Orient Express style four-course sit-down dinners. I dined on hummus and chips and was quite content.



The sun set as we were standing in the station in Seattle. Briskly, efficiently, the Amtrack staff shuffled pasengers off and on, and soon we were on oour way again. The dark brought clouds, and the further north we went, the more the weather settled in. We crossed the
border of Canada in a light rain storm, and by the time we arrived in Vancouver, there was a pleasant steady drizzle.
DH tells me that , Since I was playing solitaire during the actual border crossing, I missed the six Mounties waving flags while seated on white horses who were singing (the horses were singing. The Mountnes were looking stoioc) "Oh Canada!" And Wayne Gretsky was waving a hocky stick at us. I think it's time to get him off to breakfast. He's hallucinating again.






5 Comments:

  • At 12:53 PM , Blogger KnitTech said...

    I understand those horses sing very well. Too bad you missed them. =^.^=

     
  • At 2:20 PM , Anonymous Benita said...

    Oh, do have fun!! I can't wait to see pictures of the ship and stuff. This is so much fun!

     
  • At 3:26 PM , Blogger Wannietta said...

    Did he miss the Beavers & Moose?

     
  • At 9:03 PM , Blogger Rose Lefebvre said...

    He saw the singing Canada Horses, too??? Whew, thought I was the only one! LOL
    It sounds like the start of a frolicking fun time for the two of you!!!

     
  • At 5:42 AM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    Oh, Roxie-- I LOVE Seattle and Puget Sound-- you just made it all real for me all over again! Thank you! (And now I really want to go back!)

     

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